Major equity indexes climbed higher this past week thanks to some encouraging economic data releases at home. Investors welcomed a 3.4% improvement in pending home sales over the past month, better-than-expected ADP employment data on Wednesday, and upbeat ISM manufacturing data on Thursday. Overseas, tensions between Ukraine and Russia remain at center stage, and as such, the lack of major developments left the doors open for buyers [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Our society today thrives on technological breakthroughs; whether its smarter sensors or more efficient semiconductors, we are constantly seeking out ways to improve our everyday lives. When we think about the basic materials market, resources like timber, steel, and copper generally come to mind first; however, what is often overlooked is the development of new materials and the important roles they play in both encouraging and facilitating the very same technological breakthroughs that our society depends on [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Last week saw a major breakthrough for the Keystone XL Pipeline, as an analysis determined that the project would not have a significant impact on Canadian oil sands. By virtue, many are taking that statement as indirectly suggesting that the project would not have a major environmental impact as well. The potential environmental backlash has long stood in the way of this project’s completion, as many feel that the State Department has still failed to take into account the potential impact [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As we enter the latter part of earnings season, investors have already gotten a taste of how the final three months of 2013 fared for the Street. Thus far, it seems that there have been more earnings misses or disappointing guidance given than major wins or rosy outlooks. This week will keep energy firms in the spotlight with a few key European-based firms reporting, as well as one major agribusiness entity [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]: